Archived Story

City, Davis settle litigation

Published 5:14pm Thursday, November 21, 2013

The City of Washington and Jimmy Davis, a former city fire chief, have reached a settlement agreement regarding litigation stemming from Davis’ termination June 30, 2009.

After a closed-session meeting of the Washington City Council on Thursday morning, a joint statement was read. It reads: “The City and Davis have agreed to cease all further litigation between them. Davis will receive an amount equal to a percentage of his accrued and unused sick leave balance and accrued and unused vacation balance, to be distributed as specified in the Settlement Agreement. The claims have been resolved. All pending appeals and claims between the City and Davis will be dismissed.”

The city and Davis are not commenting further. The settlement agreement requires the city, Davis and their legal representatives not to comment on the matter, other than issuing the joint statement.

Under terms of the settlement agreement, the city will pay Davis 25 percent of his accrued and unused sick leave (940.5 hours) as of June 30, 2009. The city also will pay an amount equal to the unpaid balance of Davis; accrued and unused vacation time (20 hours of additional leave balance) as of June 30, 2009.

The additional leave balance shall be paid and allocated as follows:

• $20,000 to Capitol District Law Offices;

• $8,457.59 to Hassell, Singleton, Mason & Jones, P.A.;

• $5,372.79 to Davis in care of his legal counsel, Reagan H. Weaver.

Those amounts total $33,830.38.

The city and Davis agree that the settlement agreement is not an admission of liability by either party. The city and Davis each deny any wrongdoing. Neither party shall be considered a prevailing party for any purpose, under terms of the settlement agreement.

The settlement agreement was executed Wednesday and Thursday.

Until the case was settled, it was headed to the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings in early 2014.

In November 2009, Davis filed a petition with the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings to address the city’s termination of Davis from employment with the city. Davis claims the city fired him without just cause. Subsequently, the city filed a motion to dismiss Davis’ petition.

In September, the Office of Administrative Hearings denied the city’s motion.

Earlier this year, Superior Court Judge Rusty Duke dismissed Davis’ lawsuit against the City of Washington and other defendants.

Davis filed his civil lawsuit in summer 2012. The lawsuit claimed Davis’ termination was illegal.

In his civil lawsuit, Davis listed 14 claims for relief, including intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy, seeks a judgment in excess of $10,000, punitive damages and reinstatement will all back pay, raises and “other incidents of employment he would have been entitled to but for the Defendants’ unlawful actions” among others. Davis sought a trial by jury.

Davis, in a May 2010 interview, said he was entitled to a hearing before an OAH official because he served as the city’s emergency-management coordinator in his final years with the city.

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